What is technically a leather skin?
First, it is good to clarify that, in technical jargon, the term “skin” refers to the raw material, while “leather” to the finished product, already subjected to the process of tanning. In common parlance, however, both terms are used in reference to the material already tanned. Leather, then, is the material obtained by tanning animal skin, especially that coming from cow , sheep, goats and pigs, but you can also use that of reptiles and birds.
The animal skin consists of two layers: the epidermis, the most superficial thin and that during tanning is almost always eliminated, and the “flower grain” which is transformed instead. This layer, which consists mostly of collagen, is presented to the view as a web of fibers. In technical jargon, the outer side of this layer is called “flower”, while the inner “crust”.For our work, we use here at The Garzarara especially suede goats, sheep leather and calfskin.
The suede is obtained by subjecting the leather (the ones that we use are mostly of caprine origin) to a particular treatment, during which is deprived of the flower and then tanned, dyed and worked with the sanding machine from the crust side. It’s just the sending process which gives visual and tactile suede aspect reminiscent of the velvet. This type of skin, in fact, is ideal for creating stylish footwear and garments. At the same time, however, it is very delicate and needs regular treatments to maintain the appearance and characteristics.
Sheep and goat skins
The sheepskins come from lambs and sheeps : in general, are quite soft, smooth, stretchable and therefore suitable to be used for sartorial creations.
The crossbird , however, are a special type of sheep, whose skins, have a very compact fibrous weave and resistant from the mechanical point of view, ideal for the production of shoes, belts and bags.
The cowhides are those with greater extension and have a very strong structure from where you can get any type of article: soles and uppers, clothing, bags, suitcases, but also furniture and technical articles. For our work we often use calf skin with a flower much more uniform than the end of adult bovine skin.
The large animals have too thick skins to be used in whole, in fact, during the process of transformation are split in the two above described layers: the flower and the crust. The last one presents a fibrous appearance from both sides and can be used for furniture, but also bags and other articles that do not require special finishes.